An introduction to A-level Film Studies

A brief overview from our A-level teachers.

What does it involve?

Film Studies A-level is an exciting introduction to a wide range of films from early silent cinema and 1930s Hollywood films to contemporary and experimental contemporary cinema, documentaries and global films. These are analysed using a number of different study frameworks such as: theories of spectatorship, narrative, ideology and critical debates.

Students consider the construction of the films as well as the deeper social, political and economic contexts of the films, so an interest in Business Studies, History, Geography, Art and Textiles, Literature, Sociology, Philosophy or Religious Studies is an advantage. Lessons incorporate the reading of film, analytical discussion, independent study and research as well as the practical production of film.

The analysis of film technique informs students’ practical production. During the course, students’ learning will be enriched via a range of activities including weekly film club and excellent film production resources. Cinema visits, university lectures and trips to film festivals also deepen students’ knowledge and motivation.

How is it assessed?

Coursework contributes 30% of the qualification and involves the production of a short film or screenplay and storyboard, supported by planning and analytical evaluation. The 2 examination papers are equally weighted. The first paper includes questions on set texts from the USA and United Kingdom. The second paper explores global filmmaking, including documentaries, through a series of set texts.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

Students will usually have achieved a Grade 6 in English Language and Literature and have a strong interest in analysing and making film. A GCSE in Film Studies is not required.

University or employment prospects?

Practical production experience, workplace experience and careers talks ensure Film Studies is an academic and creative subject which has direct relevance to the world of employment.